Verizon Wireless' (NYSE:VZ) decision to pre-load its Samsung Fascinate Android phone with Microsoft's Bing search engine--and make Bing the only search choice for customers--caused a stir when a rumor popped up that Bing would replace Google on all of Verizon's future Android phones.
Verizon and Microsoft quickly shot down the rumor, and noted that such a deal is not in the cards. "Over the coming months, Verizon will announce the launch of new Android devices, which will be pre-loaded with Bing," a Microsoft spokesman told Business Insider. "The deal for Verizon Android devices is not exclusive."
"We have a relationship with Microsoft and Bing is the search engine on our multi-media phones but we have never said it would be exclusive on all of our devices," Verizon said in a statement to Engadget. Additionally, according to Laptop Magazine, when the Fascinate receives an upgrade to Android 2.2, customers will be able to download Google's search engine as an application from the Android Market.
While Verizon's decision to pre-load the Fascinate with Bing raised eyebrows among reviewers of the phone, who were perplexed as to why Verizon would replace Google on Google's own platform, such a move is not that surprising. Verizon and Microsoft inked a five-year search deal in 2009, allowing Microsoft to provide provide portal, local and Internet search as well as mobile advertising services on Verizon devices. Indeed, late last year Verizon began making Bing the default search engine on some of its BlackBerry devices from Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM).
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